Introducing a new feature, which SpaceEngine needed for a long time – constellations! They were implemented with collaboration with ESO ePOD – European Southern Observatory’s Education and Public Outreach department. Special thanks to Nico Bartman.
Features:Displaying of lines, boundaries and labels (names) for all 88 + 1 constellations (Serpens is actually split in two – Head and Tail)GUI elements to show/hide lines, boundaries and labels – in the Filters settings menu and on the right-side toolbarScript commands to show/hide lines, boundaries and labels – works the same as GUI elementsScript commands to show/hide lines, boundaries and labels for each individual constellation (it is 89 * 3 separate commands), and for zodiacal onesAbility to select constellation in the F3 search tool (although it is not displayed in the list), then Center and Goto can be used on constellationInfo table shows some information about the selected constellation. for now it is just a full name, but it is possible to add some interesting stats (like number of stars visible by naked eye, surface area etc)Constellation boundaries are rendered in two ways – at infinity, like the celestial grid, and as a sphere of a certain radius. Script commands and config file parameters to change the mode and sphere radius were addedConstellation names are localized
What is planned to do (roughly in priority order):Change lines and boundaries rendering to new volumetric lines, like used for orbits (see below)Make some small indent between stars and ends of constellation linesChange labels to a 3D billboards or curved “textures”, rendered on the surface of the boundary lines sphere (this is necessary for fulldome and VR, and can be used further for geographical labels on planets)Script commands and config file parameter to control colors of lines, boundaries and labels, per constellationAdd constellations descriptions to WikiSupport of alternate shapes (for example, Ursa Major – the Big Dipper only)Support of asterisms – not a conventional constellations, but a famous star patterns (for example, the “Summer triangle”)Constellations art (drawings)Support of constellations of various cultures, like in Stellarium (Chinese, Mayan etc)Support of custom constellations for mods (for some sci-fi worlds)
From Alpha Centauri, Sirius appears near Betelgeuse
Another work made during the past month:New orbital lines rendering, settings menu have options to control thickness of lines for major and minor bodies separatelyGraphics settings menu have options to set up warp and reflection textures resolution, fish eye and 360° render buffer resolutionScript command to switch the audio output device, automatic redirecting audio to Oculus Rift headphonesCommand line argument to launch SE in a specified 3D/VR mode (for Steam launch options)Added ability to use super-resolution in VR (rendering at a pixel density greater than 1)Ability to change keys, mouse and joysticks bindings by scriptsSupport of importing obj saved in ‘quads’ (no need to convert to ‘triangles’ anymore)Ability to create a custom menu with script-running buttons (a step towards professional planetarium version, together with constellations)Added more error checks for star catalogs loadingMany VR-related changesMany new script commands and improvements of existing ones (the animation in video for this post is made using a single SE script)Ability to change position of labels near planetary and deep space objects (stars, galaxies)Fixed a dark spot bug in the atmosphere in center of a day hemisphere of a planet
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